It’s time to show another Renault 4CV derivative. I’ve shown a few before, I think the last ones were the Vernet Pairard and the Autobleu. A car of which front and back are hard to tell apart. The Pichon & Parat Izoard. Created by Bernard Pichon and André Parat.
It’s story is a bit typical for French Coachbuilders, which Pichon & Parat were. At first creating luxury cars, mainly based on Ford Vedettes. And then changing their focus on more regular stuff, like Panhards and Simcas. So when the Renault 4CV was introduced they did create a 4CV coupé AND offered a way to increase visibility of the normal 4CV.
That first 4CV Coupé still was clearly a 4CV though but in 1955 Pichon & Parat introduced the Izoard. And that’s today’s subject. Named after a mountain pass in the French Alps.
It was a 4CV platform on which a tubular frame was added. Body panels were made of duraluminium. Which is a combination of 95% aluminium with small portions of Copper-4% Magnesium and Manganese added. Light: Yes! Cheap: Well, a base 4CV did 474k French Francs. The Izoard did... 979K francs. Or 545K francs if you handed over a 4CV yourself.
Customers could choose for either a 1062 or 1063 4CV engine but with only 41hp it wasn’t that fast. Pichot & Parat did know how to loose weight though as it was only 532 kgs. That’s 80kgs lighter than a regular 4CV. And that would be enough to enter it in the Mille Miglia of 1956. Not winning it obviously.
Still it wasn’t a huge seller. A series of 25 cars was planned. Depending on who you ask you’ll hear a minimum of 4 cars actually made or those 25 and a few amounts in between. There also was introduced a Izoard cabriolet in 1956 but that one sold even slower. If any.
And yes: The Izoard Coupé came with these portes papillon, butterfly doors. So it’s a Gullwing. Heavily influenced by the recently introduced 300SL.
After the Izoard an exciting period started for Bernard and André as they got in touch with and were granted work by Raymond Loewy. Raymond was impressed by the way the French coach builders were able to create his ideas rapidly, resulting in for instance Loewy’s BMW 507 Coupé.
But in the ‘60's coach building really got out of style somehow. From then on Pichon & Parat mainly worked on prototypes for clients (Ligier’s JS2!!!!) or created breaks (wagons) of bigger sedans. Like Peugeot’s 604. But often BMWs as well!
In 1982 the company stopped with coach building. That was 3 years after Bernard Pichon had died. Andreé Parat even removed the Pichon-part out of their company name, a strange way of honoring your deceased friend.
The model is a 1/43 by Eligor, just like that Vernet Pairard and the Autobleu I showed before. There’s even a 1956 Mille Miglia version available wich I still need to find.
All seems to be correct looking at the few B&W pictures I found on it. It rolls, all lights are glass - although the fog light on the driver’s side is a bit crooked - and it’s one of those 4CV derivatives that you can get for under 10 euros. What’s not to love?
C’est tout. I hope you’ll have a great easter weekend, not sure if it’s still a thing “celebrated” that much. For me it will mostly be about family. And food.
Bon Week-end! Et Joyeuses pâques!